Aaron Sorkin may not write science fiction, but based on recent comments he made about diversity in Hollywood, it appears that the acclaimed screenwriter has been living on an entirely different planet.
During a writers panel in Los Angeles Saturday, Sorkin seemed mystified that women and minorities “have a more difficult time getting their stuff read than white men.”
According to Sorkin, Hollywood is a “genuine meritocracy,” and if you make bad movies, you don’t get work. All you have to do is take a look at Michael Bay’s last half dozen Transformers sequels to know that Sorkin’s outlook just simply isn’t the reality.
In fact, despite the increasingly loud debate about gender inequality in Hollywood, things are actually getting worse for female filmmakers. Just 7 percent of all directors who worked on the 250 highest-grossing domestic releases in 2016 were women, which is acually two percentage points less than the year before, according to a study from the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University.
Things are just as bleak for minorities, who make up just over 10 percent of working directors, recent numbers from the DGA’s inaugural Feature Film Diversity Report show.
At one point during the discussion, Sorkin asked: “You’re saying that if you are a woman or a person of color, you have to hit it out of the park in order to get another chance?” If it weren’t for a report from Variety that said Sorkin seemed “genuinely troubled by his lack of awareness,” we’d be inclined to think he was being facetious, and having some fun at the audience’s expense. But no. Sorkin not only just proved that Hollywood still has a major diversity problem—he personified it.